Am I a candidate for laser vision correction?
Most people with refractive errors can benefit from LASIK to correct their distance vision. LASIK is the procedure of choice for myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. You must be at least twenty-one years old with healthy eyes and your glasses prescription should be stable. If you would like to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses, LASIK may be an excellent option for you.
Is the LASIK procedure painful?
Throughout the procedure, your eyes are numbed with anesthetic eye drops so the procedure is not painful. You may feel some pressure when the flap is created; usually this is the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. You may feel a scratchy sensation, burning and/or tearing initially lasting for up to 3-4 hours after your procedure. We recommend you take a long nap after your procedure, having your eyes closed in a dark environment promotes healing and usually alleviates most of the initial discomfort.
Where is the procedure done?
At the Wills Laser Vision Correction Center, the LASIK procedure will be performed with state of the art equipment in a world class facility. Both Dr. Kay and Dr. Tabas are Board Certified and Wills Eye Hospital accredited Ophthalmologists, who have been performing Lasik since it was first FDA approved.
What happens during the actual procedure?
After the anesthetic eye drops are instilled and your eyes are numb, an eyelid holder is placed between your eyelids to keep your eye opened. The opposite eye is covered. Some marks are placed on the cornea, and then a suction ring is placed over the eye to steady it as the microkeratome creates the corneal flap. Your vision is dim for about 20 seconds, while the flap is being created. The flap is lifted, you will focus on a target light, and the laser will then be applied (you will hear the tapping sound of the laser). The length of the laser treatment depends upon the level of correction being done. When the laser treatment is finished the flap is returned to its original position then antibiotic eye drops are instilled. The same process is performed for the second eye. The procedure itself takes only 10 minutes per eye, and you can leave 30min. after your procedure is done.
When can I return to work?
Most patients are able to return to their normal routine the following day, however taking additional time to rest your eyes can be beneficial for the healing process. Allow flexibility in your schedule for the days following your procedure because healing can vary from person to person.
What are the risks involved with LASIK?
As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks associated with LASIK. Most of the common side effects are temporary and include starbursting, halos, ghosting associated with night driving. Fluctuation in vision and a dry eye feeling are also some common side effects that usually resolve within a few weeks. Although uncommon, more significant side effects include the possibility of under and over correction, irregular astigmatism, scarring, lose of best corrected vision, inflammation and infection. Your surgeon will review the risks in detail with you at the time of your consultation.
What outcome can I expect after surgery?
Our goal is for you to you to be able to do all or most things without glasses or contact lenses. Although no results can be guaranteed, our outcomes are excellent and our patients are very happy. Outcomes can vary, because people heal differently, so it is important that your expectations are reasonable. This will be discussed with you during your consultation. If you are over 40 years old, most likely you will need reading glasses, as presbyopia naturally occurs in this age group.
What happens if I don't achieve my full correction?
Some patients will have a small residual prescription leaving them slightly nearsighted or farsighted. Most of these patients can perform their normal daily activities without corrective lenses, and use a thin pair of glasses for such tasks as night driving or going to the movies. If there is enough prescription to correct, an enhancement procedure can be performed, once the prescription is stable (usually after 3 months). Our enhancement rate is 5%.
Does insurance cover LASIK?
LASIK is considered a "cosmetic" procedure by many insurance companies and is not covered. There are a few insurance companies that are affiliated with a vision plan that might offer a discount. You need to contact your insurance provider directly to inquire about this possible discount. Accepted methods of payment are cash, Visa/MasterCard, bank check, financing plan, or a flexible spending account offered by your employer. To find out more about the financing plan please contact Derrick, the Refractive Program Coordinator, at (215) 925-6402 or (610) 667-6760.
How can I schedule a personal consultation, and what does it involve?
If you are interested in refractive surgery, you are invited to come to either of our two offices for a complimentary consultation. We will check your eyeglass prescription, discuss your surgical options with you, and answer all of your questions. We will give you additional reading material and a video to take home. Once you make the decision to have the procedure, you will need a complete dilated eye exam and pre-op measurements, (which usually takes about an hour). If you would like your pre-op measurements to be done at the time of your initial consultation, please refrain from wearing soft contact lenses 4 days prior to your visit, or gas permeable lenses 4 weeks prior. Please call our Center City office at (215) 925-6402, or our Bala Cynwyd office at (610) 667-6760 and let us know that you would like to schedule a LASIK consultation.
What if I have additional questions not covered in this list of Frequently Asked Questions?
Then please do not hesitate to email us here or call one of our two offices at (215) 925-6402 or (610) 667-6760.